When you realize that a whopping 51 percent of Canadian adults have not prepared their last will and testament, you can understand with them. Preparing a will has a tone of finality; it is simply uncomfortable to be preparing a document that reminds you of your mortality.
Besides the discomfort of this situation, there are a few other reasons why 1 out of 2 Canadian adults do not have a will. Firstly, preparing a will is not a straightforward process. Depending on a lot of factors – chief of them being the unique situation of your estate assets – writing your will could be a really complex process.
Add to that the fact that, lawyers with the requisite expertise usually charge an arm and a leg to do this for you: we’re talking a $1000 and above. And when you think of it, who wants to spend that amount preparing a document that basically gives away all they have left?
Thankfully, the online solution trend has caught up with this problem as well. Just like digital banks and online tax return companies, Willful is one of the many online solutions helping Canadians today to prepare their last will and testament. And again, in keeping with the online solution trend, Willful simplifies the process and also makes it wallet-friendly; from as low as $99. Plus, it takes a lot less time to prepare.
Documents prepared by Willful and other online will companies are just as legitimate as their offline alternatives. Bottom line, whether you are 20 or 8 years old, you want your assets and entire estate to go to those you feel deserve it; a last will and testament simply help you make sure that it happens exactly that way, instead of everything you own going to the State or some other irrelevant body.
This review will break down all there is to know about Willful’s platform and what they offer. As always, after reading this, you get to decide if this is what you want for yourself.
Willful Is A Mission-Driven Fintech Company
Established in 2017, Willful was actually born out of personal pain. After Kevin Oulds was bereaved of a close family member who did not put together any funeral wishes or any sort of end-of-life planning document, it sparked the idea for Willful. Oulds started the company with a mission to automate and modernize the end-of-life planning process for Canadians. The company has continued to grow.
Its services used to be available only in Ontario but the company has expanded to other provinces like Nova Scotia, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta.
Willful’s process is made easy thanks to their online will templates that were developed by legal practitioners with bags of experience in the field of estate law. So to prepare a will with Willful, all you need to do is create an account on their website, fill a targeted online questionnaire, and wait as it prepares your will for printing and signing.
The entire process can take as little as 20 minutes. That is the biggest selling point of the company: they decrypt the process of preparing a will and last testament to the simplest and simplest possible form.
How Much Does Willful Cost?
Depending on the size and complexity of your estate, Willful’s services cost anywhere from $99 to $249.
Willful offers three pricing/service tiers:
1. The Essentials
This is the foundational pricing tier. All the fundamental stuff every will needs is provided with this plan.
The Essentials plan allows you to detail your final wishes, choose your personal representative and estate beneficiaries, name your children’s guardians, specify how your estate should be distributed, and plan for your children’s inheritance.
With this plan though, you only get one document: your will. It costs $99, which is at least $200 less than you would pay if you went to an actual lawyer.
This plan is Willful’s most popular. Like most other online service pricing tiers, Premium contains all the features of The Essentials and then some. These additional benefits/features include the ability to trigger a power of attorney for your property and finances in the event of an emergency.
With the Premium plan, you can also plan ahead for medical emergencies. This plan is pegged at $149 and is especially ideal for cases where you have no partner or you want to select a beneficiary that isn’t your partner.
According to Willful’s calculations, this plan saves you at least $450 compared to going to a lawyer for the exact same legal needs.
So after you’re done preparing your will with the premium package, you’ll be furnished with three documents:
- A Last Will and Testament
- A Power of Attorney for Emergencies (Finance & Property)
- A Healthcare Emergency Representative & Wishes
3. Couples (Mirrored)
This plan would cost a minimum of $1100 with a traditional estate lawyer. However, with Willful, you’ll only need to put up $249. As the name suggests, this is the ideal option for couples who want to prepare two separate wills in one account. Here, you’re entitled to anything and everything in the Essentials and Premium plans.
Plus, your wishes can also be reflected (mirrored) in your partner’s documents as well. At the end of the will preparation with this plan, you receive two copies of the three documents in the Premium plan, one copy of each document for you and your partner. Notice that this plan also costs $50 less compared to opting for two Premium plans.
There are no hidden fees or extra charges with Willful. All you see is all you are ever going to need to pay for their services.
What Makes Willful Stand Out?
Willful is definitely one of the cheapest providers of an online legal will in the country, however, many Canadians are looking at more than cost.
So what else stands them out from the competition?
Straightforward, all-inclusive pricing: Willful does not offer any add-ons, up-sells, and no discounts or coupons. Everything you’ll ever need to pay is included in their three-tier payment prices.
Simple but modern design & superior user experience: You can say that Willful is to online will creation what Turbo Tax is to doing taxes online. Its interface is user-friendly and intuitive.
Unlimited free updates & changes to your will: Until you pass away, your will is never set in stone. With every milestone life event or change, you may need to add or remove something from your will. Willful allows you to do that as many times as required at no extra cost.
A robust resource center: In order to make sure that none of their clients ever have to walk in blind to any will preparation process, Willful provides a free robust resource center on their website. There is enough information there to guide anyone through everything they need to know concerning estate planning.
Top-notch customer service: Many users of the platform have praised Willful for their customer service efforts. They interact with their clients many with their online chat feature and they tend to respond pretty quickly.
Legalwills Vs. Willful
The simple answer would be yes, it is worth checking out. But before you do that, however, there are a few things you must note. First, Willful is not the cheapest online legal will provider in Canada. Its closest competitor, Legalwills, gives you a basic last will and testament starting at $39, with the couples plan to max out at $144. However, their pricing system is a lot more staggered and feels more conditional with too many pricing conditions that make Willful feel more comfortable.
Also, Legalwills is available throughout Canada, while Willful isn’t there yet. In the past year though, they’ve gone from serving only three provinces to seven. That’s huge growth in such a short time.
But for now, if you do not live in any of the supported provinces, you may have to opt for another online will provider. Also, if pricing is your make-or-break factor, Willful may also not be for you.
However, if you want an established and trusted will provider that has a simple payment structure, faster will processing, convenience of use, and top-notch customer support, then Willful is worth the trouble.
Bear in mind that online legal will providers are not equipped to handle the end-of-life planning for extremely complex estates (like when the subject owns various properties and financial holdings in foreign countries that have different laws and policies). In such cases, you may have to go the traditional route and seek out an expert estate lawyer.
There you go, that was my honest review on Willful. If you are seeking to create a Legal Will, for any purpose in Canada, do check out their website. The services offered are ultra-premium which is easily affordable by you and me.
There is something in store for everyone at Willful, that’s the best part I like about my Willful review here.
I hope you liked the content here and found it helpful. If you did like, please share it on social media and help spread the word. As always, let me know your thoughts and comments below. Thanks for reading, bye now!
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- Straightforward, all-inclusive pricing
- Unlimited free updates & changes to your will
- Top-notch customer service
- Legalwills is available throughout Canada, while Willful isn’t there yet
- Bear in mind that online legal will providers are not equipped to handle the end-of-life planning for extremely complex estates
Sagar Sridhar is a personal finance blogger from Canada. His genuine passion for personal finance coupled with his unique style of writing is what stands out. Professionally, he is a computer engineer, agile certified and has a master’s degree in Project Management. His writing has been featured or quoted in the leading Canadian publications such as Credit Canada and many other personal finance publications. While he is juggling between his day job and blogging, he is the main author on this blog and has miles to go before making the final pit stop.